Thursday Jan 31, 2013

Learn How Oracle WebCenter Portal Can Empower Your Customers

Oracle Corporation
Engage Customers with a Consistent and Connected Online Experience

Learn How Oracle WebCenter Portal Can Empower Your Customers

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is the largest public utility company in the United States. It provides water and power for more than 1.6 million residential and commercial customers in Southern California. LADWP was looking for an enterprise-class portal to increase customer self-service Web transactions.

Join us for this Webcast and hear about Oracle’s portal- and composite-applications solution, Oracle WebCenter Portal, which is now used to power the Los Angeles utility’s ladwp.com, a multilingual, customer self-service site.

Oracle WebCenter Portal provides LADWP customers a portal that includes:

  • Account information such as bills, payments, and rebate processing
  • Application and content management integration
  • Multichannel access, including mobile devices

Attend this Webcast, the first in a three-part series, and learn how a self-service portal can empower your customers, provide real-time access to data, reduce costs, and increase customer loyalty.

Register now for the Webcast.

Oracle Fusino Middleware Webcenter
REGISTER NOW

Register now for the Webcast.

Thursday, January 31, 2013
10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET

Presented by:

Matt Lampe
CIO, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Oracle WebCenter Series
Self-Service Portals: Increasing Satisfaction for Employees, Customers, and Partners

Webcast

City of Los Angeles Improves Customer Satisfaction with
Self-Service Portal

Whitepaper

Oracle WebCenter Portal:
High-Value Web Experiences Through Self-Service Portals
(Coming Soon)

Webcast

Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety Lowers Customer Service Costs with Oracle WebCenter
(Coming Soon)

Hardware and Software, Engineered to Work Together

Wednesday Jan 30, 2013

WebCenter Customer Spotlight: Toyo Engineering Corporation

Author: Peter Reiser - Social Business Evangelist, Oracle WebCenter

 Solution Summary

Toyo Engineering Corporation (Toyo) was established in 1961 after the company separated from the engineering and maintenance section of Toyo Koatsu (now known as Mitsui Chemicals). Since then, Toyo has worked on thousands of plant engineering projects in more than 50 countries, and it is a globally recognized leader in its field.

 Toyo needed to improve collaboration between global subsidiaries, external companies, and staff in remote locations. It also wanted to enhance communication between project management teams, and engineering, procurement, construction, and other business process units, so each department had timely access to the latest design, engineering, and project information.

Based on Oracle WebCenter Content with a workflow function in a cloud environment, Toyo established a flexible, scalable, and highly durable document management system that allows global project personnel to use it 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Toyo expects to significantly reduce e-mail volume, improve  project efficiency,  enhance user and customer satisfaction and to save an anticipated US$2.4 million (200 million yen) per year on printing, copying, and delivery expenses.



Company Overview
Toyo Engineering Corporation (Toyo)
was established in 1961 after the company separated from the engineering and maintenance section of Toyo Koatsu (now known as Mitsui Chemicals). Since then, Toyo has worked on thousands of plant engineering projects in more than 50 countries, and it is a globally recognized leader in its field.

Business Challenges
Toyo needed to improve collaboration between global subsidiaries, external companies, and staff in remote locations. It also wanted to enhance communication between project management teams, and engineering, procurement, construction, and other business process units, so each department had timely access to the latest design, engineering, and project information.

Their main business objectives were:

  • Reduce e-mail volumes from up to 400 per day for each project manager
  • Simplify and enhance communication between globally dispersed project personnel
  • Adopt a shared document management model to prevent duplicated & scattered content and deliver relevant documents in timely manner
  • Change business processes to ensure electronic documents are regarded as valid as hard copies
  • Share and deliver knowledge about productive techniques and ideas from Japan with global subsidiaries and external companies

Solution Deployed
Toyo launched a new project document management system called SHOKA, which means ‘bookshelf’ in Japanese.

Based on Oracle WebCenter Content with a workflow function in a cloud environment, Toyo established a flexible, scalable, and highly durable document management system that allows global project personnel to use it 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The strength of SHOKA is that it can be accessed from anywhere through a secure internet connection, whether you are working in Japan or overseas,” said Shuntaro Saito, project IT group, IT management and control unit, Toyo Engineering Corporation. “This enables remote users to continue their project work exactly as if they were at head office.” 

Business Results
  • Expected to save an anticipated US$2.4 million (200 million yen) per year on printing, copying, and delivery expenses
  • Improved project efficiency by establishing a centralized document management system, standardizing project document structures, file naming rules, and document authorization methods
  • Enhanced user and client satisfaction by providing  7x24 secure and online access to relevant content

Electronic document management is an indispensable way to improve project information flow between our global engineering subsidiaries, construction sites, and external companies in remote locations. Oracle WebCenter Content enabled us to establish a dynamic business information management system that can quickly deliver the latest design information to the relevant project execution offices and show a project’s progress, based on the status of various documents.

Toshio Hayashi, Deputy General Manager—IT Management and Control Unit, Toyo Engineering Corporation


Additional Information

Tuesday Jan 29, 2013

Five Best Practices for Self-Service Portals

Oracle

John Brunswick: Five Best Practices for Self-Service Portals

Self-service portals afford organizations an excellent way to reduce costs, increase the quality of customer service, and act as an ongoing touchpoint with customers. Delivering a compelling experience takes effort, but it supplies a powerful opportunity to turn your brand's customers into fans. Here are five best practices for self-service portals.

  • Catalog personas and processes. Self-service behavior is purposeful. Catalog types of customers and their objectives. Review current touchpoints via all channels and interview customer service and sales departments to better understand what works and what does not. This catalog can act as your design compass.
  • Architect user profiles. Personalized self-service requires an understanding of a user’s relationship with your organization, their demographic, and other profile information. Access to purchase history, social networking activities, and past self-service history can enable you to increase the relevancy of their experience based on their needs. Prioritize user attributes and plan to leverage this data.
  • Understand the lifecycle of relationships. Users’ views of information can shift based on their products, services, and the duration for which they have had or are using them. Take the opportunity to correlate value-added offerings given the lifecycle of those items.
  • Conduct behavioral analysis and testing. Authenticated users enable richer behavioral analysis than anonymous users. Review analytics on the basis of user segments and profile attributes. Enrich and refine the experience by leveraging A/B design testing strategies to allow personas to more easily meet their objectives.
  • Utilize social and community. Self-service portals supply an excellent way to offer value-added services related to your brand. Brainstorm about additional interactions within their experience, such as providing an online community or avenues for social interaction with your brand to drive affinity.

Check out this podcast in John's Best Practices series and learn more about self-service portals.

Monday Jan 28, 2013

The Business Value of Self-Service Portals

Unlock the Hidden Business Value of Self-Service Portals 

For a long time, self-service portals were seen as a cost-cutting tool, but a new generation of technologies is turning them into key productivity tools—and even revenue generators. This week, we want to focus on self-service portals, and the business value your organization can realize with the. Here are some frequently asked questions about the growing business value of self-service portals. 

What is the definition of a self-service portal?
A self-service portal is a Website that enables users—whether they are customers, employees, suppliers, or partners—to perform high-value transactions, from simple account updates to paying bills, managing support tickets, and more. 

What is the value proposition of a customer self- service portal? 
Besides the value of driving down service costs, self-service portals are a progressively vital element of the customer experience. Customers increasingly prefer to complete transactions themselves via the internet—whenever and wherever they want—rather than having to make a call or travel in person to a business location. And since customer experiences are crucial to achieving competitive advantage, so are self-service customer portals.  

In addition, next-generation technologies are also enabling the delivery of highly personalized content, such as compelling cross-sell/up-sell offers based on customers’ profile, activity, purchase history, etc. As a result, self-service portals are evolving from cost-cutting measures to true profit centers. 

Do you have a favorite example of a customer self-service portal?
We have so many great examples of our customers that are using Oracle WebCenter Portal for self-service portals for their customers. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is a great story about true customer self-service. LADWP is the largest public utility company in the United States with over 1.6 million customers and provides water and power for millions of residential and commercial customers in Southern California. LADWP was looking for an enterprise class portal to surface mission critical applications to increase customer self-service Web transactions. In order to do so, LADWP turned to Oracle WebCenter Portal, and LADWP customers now have a customer self-service portal which includes: account information such as bills, payments and rebate processing, application and content management integration, and multi-channel access, including mobile devices. You can hear from LADWP CIO Matt Lampe in this video, or catch him on this webcast "City of Los Angeles Improves Customer Satisfaction with Self-Service Portal" at 10:00am PST on Thursday!

What about the value proposition of building employee self-service portals?
An effective self-service portal helps keep employees engaged and happy by putting key information and business processes at their fingertips—from managing their own benefits to completing mission-critical tasks. 

To achieve this, a portal needs to raise to the surface back-office applications along with relevant content in an extremely simplified user experience—plus enable employees to easily add applications to create composite applications. Done right, composite applications combine functionality from multiple applications into a single, integrated, intuitive business dashboard. 

Finally, next-generation employee self-service portals also integrate social and collaboration technologies that drive increased productivity.  

What are the latest trends and technologies that are driving the next generation of self-service portals? 
Increasingly, users want to access self-service portals via mobile devices. That makes it vital to be able to reuse existing site builds as much as possible across all platforms. Also, more and more, people want Websites to know who they are and present only content and transactions that are relevant to them, so personalization is essential.  

It’s also important to empower business users. Traditionally, portals have required IT intervention. Now, a new generation of technologies is enabling business users to implement changes themselves, speeding business transformation while driving down IT costs.  

Finally, social computing, including wikis and other user-generated content, is transforming self-service sites and enabling people to complete more sophisticated transactions more quickly and efficiently through effective collaboration.

How does Oracle WebCenter Portal help drive business value? 
With Oracle WebCenter Portal, you can quickly create dynamic self-service portals, with tools to quickly build composite applications and mashups, out-of-the-box social and collaboration tools, complete enterprise content management capabilities, and a comprehensive and flexible user experience platform for faster development.

Find out more about building self-service portals with Oracle WebCenter Portal and don't miss the webcast with LADWP on Thursday!

Friday Jan 25, 2013

Socially Enable Your Business with Oracle WebCenter

With Oracle WebCenter we enable our customers to provide their clients with a seamless end-to-end experience where social collaboration is integrated into business processes and workflow

When embraced across an organisation’s entire business, social collaboration results in a more agile and responsive business - and one that is ultimately more successful

Sound interesting? Then watch this video and see how it can be done!

Magic Mirror: Top Trends Looking Forward into 2013

2013

Looking ahead at 2013 with our magic mirror leaves some doubt for any accuracy of predictions, but every year at this time, it’s always a fun exercise to watch the community of thinkers publish their annual lists for the coming year.

2013 – The Year of Engagement

Geoffrey Moore (of Crossing the Chasm fame) wrote a great post on LinkedIn last month that really hits the engagement nail on the head really hard…

Big Idea 2013: Engagement

“The antithesis of engagement is alienation, but that is too strong a word for what is in fact a milder, cooler, and more distant reality. Let’s call it instead detachment. The economic consequences of detachment are reflected initially in a loss of brand loyalty, which then tends to lead to price shopping, which ultimately leads to churn. Such dynamics are the kiss of death to a consumer economy.”

“The highest returns in tech in the coming decade will come from investments in engagement” Geoffrey Moore

The Brainyard Blog (Information Week) – one of my favorites, had a response to Geoffrey’s Big Idea 2013 post by Eric Lundquist, that offers some interesting challenges for CMO’s. Eric writes: “The issue for chief marketing officers, as I see it, is how to create customer engagement in an era when it is simple for a customer to disengage.”

With the rising importance of Customer Experience and our focus on Customer Engagement here at Oracle, we are seeing the thought leadership of major marketing powerhouse agencies offer their trend observations as well.

JWT

The following review of the report THE TOP 10 TRENDS FOR MARKETERS, ACCORDING TO JWT by: Rae Ann Fera provides some fascinating perspectives supporting the importance of experience across the channels of engagement.

JWT’s 10 trends for 2013 are:

  1. Play As a Competitive Advantage
  2. The Super Stress Era
  3. Intelligent Objects
  4. Predictive Personalization
  5. The Mobile Fingerprint
  6. Sensory Explosion
  7. Everything Is Retail
  8. Peer Power
  9. Going Private in Public
  10. Health & Happiness: Hand in Hand

Deloitte

Deloitte Top 10 Tech Trends for 2013: Your password is no longer safe, your wireless calls may drop and other predictions. 
Tech Trends 2013 videos :
Learn how the 2013 trends are impacting business today in this series of three-minute videos from Deloitte.


The major analyst firms of Gartner and Forrester have published fascinating 2013 prediction articles and reports which will give us all a guidepost as we navigate the coming year’s challenges.

Gartner

Gartner’s list covers many of the same trends they listed for 2012 which leaves us understandably with the knowledge that these are not a passing fancy of a trend, but instead trends that will take years to develop and evolve.

Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013 include:

  1. Mobile Device Battles
  2. Mobile Applications and HTML5
  3. Personal Cloud
  4. Enterprise App Stores
  5. The Internet of Things
  6. Hybrid IT and Cloud Computing
  7. Strategic Big Data
  8. Actionable Analytics
  9. In Memory Computing
  10. Integrated Ecosystems

Forrester

2013: THE YEAR OF DIGITAL BUSINESS

My favorite quote from this article: “Although the benefits of social media marketing may yet turn out to be the modern version of The Emperor’s New Clothes, 2013 will continue the shift in businesses across the world toward a more open, innovative, and collaborative environment."

Capgemini

Taking the converse approach in a critical post by Eric Anderson – gives us a good view of “6 tech trends you can ignore in 2013”

The Holy Grail

Perhaps the best find in my research over the past few weeks has been the treasure chest of someone else’s research efforts. Stumbling upon this site left me giddy in satisfaction that I had found the holy grail of trend and prediction lists pulled together by IBM Lifer, Bill Chamberlin on his site, Bill Chamberlin's HorizonWatching. Spend some time browsing this impressive compilation – there’s something for everyone here: 101 Technology Trends and Predictions Lists for 2013

Bill digs deeper into multiple individual trends that have been called out for the upcoming year.

My favorites of his collection:

103 Digital Marketing Trends and Prediction Lists for 2013

28 Internet of Things (IoT) Trends and Prediction Articles for 2013

19 Gamification Trend Articles for 2013

Creative and Strategic Perspectives

What about the Creative and Strategic Leaders today? What do they think about these evolving trends?

I discovered a very interesting article on Fast Company's "Create" site that interviewed leaders from both creative and strategy in top agencies. Definitely take the time to read the full article linked here. I've tried to capture some of the more interesting quotes below.

HOW MARKETING WILL CHANGE IN 2013
CREATIVE FORECAST:
  • Advances in mobile technology
  • No set platforms
  • More content, on more screens, in more sizes, in more places, more of the time.
  • Videos on mobile devices
  • Technology slowdown: Creatives today, like their smartphones, must be able to do everything. And well.
  • Globalization

“The past decade plus was about learning new technologies, new platforms, new threads of connectivity about brands. This next decade will be a return to storytelling and craft.” - Jason Gaboriau, VP, executive creative director CP+B

“Marketers will continue to ask for more ROI often with the same spending levels and sometimes less.” - Jonathan Cude, chief creative officer, McKinney

“Undoubtedly, technological advances are forcing brands to be less preoccupied with what to say and more with how to say it. And what invariably happens is that different brands’ messages all begin to resemble one another. Every day there seem to be more and more similar ideas coming from different clients…even within different categories. Innovation is taking a front seat and the brand’s architecture is being put on the back burner. As a result, the messages behind brands are becoming less and less unique.” - Maxi Itzkoff/Mariano Serkin, chief creative officers, Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi Bueno Aires:

“Our teams here at the agency work in tandem with one another--dropping the silos and alternatively embracing collaboration among community management, social strategy, digital word of mouth, content studio, creative and technology. That is how creative success will be realized in 2013.” - Adam Kerj, chief creative officer, 360i

THE STRATEGIC FORECAST

Read this article!

Here’s a sampling of the interesting discussions from one of these strategic thinkers.

Jim Stengel, marketing consultant and educator, author, former CMO of P&G:

“This will be the year of The Drop. We will drop social from social media as all media is social; we will drop digital and mobile from digital & mobile marketing as all marketing is digital and mobile; we will drop advertising from advertising agency as their future is in helping clients creatively realize opportunities; we will drop global from global marketing officer as all marketing leaders need to be global in thought and intent. You get the idea: we are entering an era of integration and simplification as people/consumers want coherence, impact, joy, and help from people running brands.

The year of even higher Ideals. This is gathering momentum. I have had a crazy busy year helping large and small companies--more than 25--activate their higher ideal in all they do. Look at big Cannes winners last year: Chipotle, Nike, Coke, Prudential, Visa and on and on. All centered on a higher ideal that is activated beautifully and completely. These companies are growing and writing the new story for business.

More profoundly: the year of Us versus Me. Obama won decisively as he was the inclusive, generous, empathetic candidate. Romney was more exclusive, more individualistic. The coming policy/economic changes will be more shared responsibility to make progress on the deficit, tax revenues, health care. The national social impact of the horrific Newtown tragedy will be a softening of our "hard lines" on many issues, our empathy will be heightened. Do not underestimate the lasting impact of that event. People running brands need to internalize this and reflect it. It will supercharge the movement to higher ideals.”


These are really interesting perspectives on the changes and trends upon us in 2013 and beyond. It is definitely NOT Business as Usual and requires some re-thinking around engagement with not only your customers, but also your own employees and partners. Remember that Engaged Employees help to cultivate Engaged Customers.

Our last Social Business Thought Leader in 2012, Brian Solis, was sponsoring the change of business perspective in his book, The End of Business as Usual and provided a scintillating discussion on dealing with these new challenges.

Digital Darwinism: How Brands Can Survive the Rapid Evolution of Society and Technology

Oracle Social Business Thought Leaders Webcast Series

This is the age in which society and technology evolve faster than a company’s ability to adapt. Can your brand survive? Join Altimeter Group analyst Brian Solis as he discusses how to not just survive but thrive by better understanding customer expectations, disruptive technology, and the new opportunities of the age.

Digital Darwinism: Watch & Learn On-Demand

Thursday Jan 24, 2013

Engagement: These are a few of my favorite things...

For today’s post, I’d like to let the visuals speak for themselves as great examples of how companies are working really hard to change the dynamics of engagement to build a legion of highly loyal and engaged customers and fans. So, grab a cup of coffee and take a break to watch the videos below.

We’ll start with a video from one of our partners, LBi where Paul Beck, Global Head of Audiences and Engagement, explains that “It’s not the Steak – it’s the Sizzle!” as the secret to success in today’s marketing jungle.

Every year, one of my favorite magazines, Fast Company, puts out numerous lists, but their “The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies“ list is a great one to watch for some of the coolest customer engagement examples each year. 

A great example (IMO) from 2012

RedBull

One of LBi’s clients, RedBull, has become a media powerhouse themselves – especially with the recent space jump spectacle that gave them maximum free advertising across the globe. If there is an extreme sport where life and death often hang in balance, you'll often find RedBull there as a sponsor. What you are about to see below really pushes the limit of both extreme sports as well as expense for sponsorship. Whether or not you drink their magic potion or not, this project (http://www.redbullstratos.com/) created an audience across multiple social channels with a vast viral distribution of the multiple videos and documentaries created before, during and after the world record-breaking event. This is RedBull's MO, creating sponsorships and spectacles for adrenalin rushes vicariously explored and experienced through their media machine and hopefully also selling some of their elixer along the way. 

RedBull Stratos, A Mission to the Edge of Space

On 14 October 2012 Felix Baumgartner jumped to Earth from a helium balloon in the stratosphere doing the highest parachute jump ever done by a human.. He set the world record for skydiving an estimated 39 kilometres (24 mi), reaching an estimated speed of 1,342 kilometres per hour (834 mph), or Mach 1.24. The capsule was launched from Roswell International Air Center at 09:30 MDT (15:30 UTC).

Standing on the step of the capsule, Baumgartner made a short address:
"I know the whole world is watching now. I wish you could see what I can see. Sometimes you have to be up really high to understand how small you are... I'm coming home now."

RedBull Stratos from AixSponza on Vimeo.
Peter Clausen Film and AixSponza created this animation above visualizing the whole process of going up and jumping down.

Title : "Red Bull Stratos - Mission to the Edge of Space" Client: Red Bull Media House GmbH
Production Company: Peter Clausen Film & TV Produktionsgesellschaft mbH, Munich

Jump from the Edge of Space from NotWorkingFilms on Vimeo.

A NotWorkingFilms Tribute to FELIX BAUMGARTNER JUMP FROM THE EDGE OF SPACE Red Bull Stratos - 14 October 2012
Remixed* by Fabio Palmieri
Music by György Ligeti - Requiem for Soprano (Cathy Berberian)
2012©NotWorkingFilms http://www.notworkingfilms.com  Like on FB!! https://www.facebook.com/NotWorkingFilmsPage

------

RedBull has done some great work with car racing as well. www.redbullracing.com/
------------------

Nike

 At Oracle Open World this past October 2012, our customer Nike, won a Fusion Middleware Innovation Award for their Nike FuelBand built with Oracle technologies. There is another interesting article on Fast Company’s Design site regarding this new product and direction for Nike.  They were aiming to create a “Universal Currency” to engage users no matter what they were doing combining personal goals, social networks  and engagement across multiple aspects of a person’s life.

Everything COUNTS!

Nike Achieves Scalability with Oracle: Nike supports 8 million global users to monitor active lifestyle in social environment with 150,000 requests per minute using Oracle


Life Technologies

Another interesting leader on the list is an Oracle client that won an Innovation Award this year as well, Life Technologies. They are praised for bringing the cost of gene sequencing down to a manageable level from both a cost and time perspective in a rapidly growing market of biowares.

They have used Oracle WebCenter Technologies to build their service portal that provides yet another proof point in the Internet of Things that can communicate from machine to machine and provide service, maintenance and proactive care to keep very expensive equipment up and running for peak utilization.  Increasing customer satisfaction and engagement by removing a task and letting researchers focus on research not the maintenance of their equipment.



Looking back at our Social Business Thought Leaders from 2012, there are a couple that immediately come to mind when we talk about trends in Engagement across both Mobile and Social.


Mobile is the New Face of Engagement
featuring Ted Schadler, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Forrester 



Organic Business Networks: Doing Business in a Hyper-Connected World

featuring Mike Fauscette, GVP, Software Business Solutions, IDC   


Wednesday Jan 23, 2013

WebCenter Customer Spotlight: LocalTapiola Group

Author: Peter Reiser - Social Business Evangelist, Oracle WebCenter

 Solution Summary

LocalTapiola Group, formed through the merger of Tapiola Group and Local Insurance, offers insurance, banking, savings, and investment services to businesses and consumers in Finland.

LocalTapiola Group had two customer magazines, published in print format, several online magazines, as well as many different publishing systems and third-party publishing solutions. It wanted to reduce communication and marketing costs, accelerate delivery of important news using the online channel, and adopt an integrated external communications model by using a single, common Web experience management platform. 

LocalTapiola Group implemented Oracle WebCenter Sites to manage their online Web experience.

Since deploying the solution, LocalTapiola has expanded its Web presence and improved its ability to engage customers with timely and compelling online content. By discontinuing printing magazines on paper and using only online communication, LocalTapiola achieved considerable savings and reduced its environmental footprint by saving 90 tons of paper, annually.



Company Overview

LocalTapiola Group, formed through the merger of Tapiola Group and Local Insurance, offers insurance, banking, savings, and investment services to businesses and consumers in Finland.

Business Challenges

LocalTapiola Group had two customer magazines, published in print format, several online magazines, as well as many different publishing systems and third-party publishing solutions. It wanted to reduce communication and marketing costs, accelerate delivery of important news using the online channel, and adopt an integrated external communications model by using a single, common Web experience management platform. 

Their main business objectives were:

  • Improve ability to engage customers online and share digital information about the company’s financial-services offerings, as well as banking news with customers and the public
  • Reduce communications and marketing costs and promote sustainable development by discontinuing two, printed, customer magazines, Oma Talous (Your Own Finance) and Sijoitustalous (Investment Finance)
  • Standardize and consolidate the group’s IT environment and internet service applications to cut management costs and ensure a path forward
  • Save costs with one common and device-independent Web experience management platform that LocalTapiola Group can use for publishing through multiple channels
Solution Deployed

LocalTapiola Group chose Oracle WebCenter Sites to manage their online customer experience. They conducted the implementation in two phases.
The first phase delivered a unified publishing model, including common assets and templates, and the first Web site called Sijoitustalous.fi.


In the second phase, they established a second Web site, Omatalous.fi, using the existing publishing model.

This approach enabled the company to reuse almost 70% of its assets, templates, and components in the second phase of the implementation project―a percentage that may grow in the future.

Business Results

Since deploying the solution, LocalTapiola has expanded its Web presence and improved its ability to engage customers with timely and compelling online content. By discontinuing printing magazines on paper and using only online communication, LocalTapiola achieved considerable savings and reduced its environmental footprint by saving 90 tons of paper, annually.

  • Discontinued printing the company’s customer magazines, eliminating printing and mailing costs associated with them, as well as the use of 90 tons of paper annually, in line with the group’s sustainability goals
  • Used the company’s expanded ability to communicate quickly with the customer base to deliver breaking news and publish information about the merger between Tapiola Group and Local Insurance
  • Improved LocalTapiola Group’s Web presence and will later start using WebCenter capabilities to also engage customers with timely and compelling content via social media channels
  • Saved labor costs by discontinuing production of print-magazine-like content for iPads, replacing this with content that can be utilized across various Web channels

The internet is our preferred method of communicating with the general public and our customers. Oracle WebCenter, which our implementation partner Tieto Finland deployed, allows us to use the internet to dynamically communicate with customers and the public while eliminating significant costs and environmental issues associated with print magazines.

Jyrki Antikainen, Communications Director, LocalTapiola Group


Additional Information

New Worlds of Customer & Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement goes far beyond the existence of technology and tools – it is something that needs to be well baked into the culture of the organization. I stumbled upon a wonderful paper on a great site I found that was chock full of interesting articles on employee engagement and the psychology of work and employment and living life to the fullest being personally satisfied and rewarded. The article entitled, “A call for the HIGH PERFORMANCE HUMAN WORKPLACE” by Dominique Giulini, General Manager Novartis Healthcare, Canada talks about the shift in thinking that is required now to promote full employee engagement. Companies are increasingly challenged to create opportunities to fully engage their employees to increase both retention as well as quality of work. I’m sure that many won’t like his approach or suggestions as they do challenge the historic sacred cow of corporate culture – Profit. His premise is quite simple yet presents a significant challenge for today’s leaders:

“This shift is from seeing profit as the goal to profit as the result of meaningful things done in fulfilling ways.”

This shift is best described by using the examples from his paper that talk about one major aspect to this shift – based on numerous studies, employees prefer to have a "Noble Purpose."

This is Noble Purpose - Some Examples:

  • Banking sector: Instead of profit only: Giving credit allows entrepreneurs to realize their dreams and contribute to innovation in society.
  • Insurance: Instead of premium increase: Increasing quality of life by allowing people to focus on the possibilities in their live because their big worries are insured.
  • Computer: Instead of “Selling more computers”: Revolutionizing the access to communication and entertainment.
  • Pharmaceutical:  Instead of “more blockbusters”: Increasing access in the world for Cures.”
  • Books: Instead of selling more books: Being the most customer oriented company in the world. (Amazon)

Noble Purpose is not jargon or a slogan. If it is not genuine it doesn’t work. It starts in a leader’s heart and mind. It is always available if you become 100 percent responsible for it in your company culture.”


When one starts doing research on "Employee Engagement", there are a couple of very well known groups that appear frequently having conducted major research on employee or "human capital" patterns of behavior. Both Aon and Towers Watson have provided insightful research on the topic.

From Aon's "Trends in Global Engagement" Report:

"Engaged employees deliver better performance, which is critical for business success. They understand their role in the business strategy, have a strong connection and commitment to the company, are more involved, and strive to go above and beyond in their jobs. The bottom line is that employee engagement matters—now more than ever. And the solutions for maintaining or improving engagement are increasingly complex for companies operating in an environment of instability and varied economic conditions. Striving to maintain a higher level of employee engagement not only contributes toward short-term survival during economic volatility, but is also a key factor for longer-term business performance and better positioning when market conditions become favorable. The companies that get engagement “right” will enjoy a source of competitive advantage in talent strategy and business results that is hard for others to replicate."

Embed engagement into business practices - engaging employees can't be a side thought. It needs to be part of the culture and fabric of the organization. Growing a culture of collaboration that allows employees easy and rapid communication speeds up both internal and external, employee and customer satisfaction.

From the Towers Watson 2012 Global Workforce Study — conducted with 32,000 employees across 30 countries:

“The first gap is effectively enabling workers with internal support, resources and tools, which can take a variety of forms. Think of the helpful supervisor who prioritizes and organizes work, regardless of whether the employee is in front of him or her, or 1,000 miles away working at home or in a remote office. Think of efficient technology that works (and a helpful help desk when it doesn’t). Think of a collegial work team ready to jump in to help. Or of online tools and processes that give remote or contract workers access to information and guidance to make good job-related decisions in real time.”

“When engagement starts to decline, companies become vulnerable not only to a measurable drop in productivity, but also to poorer customer service and greater rates of absenteeism and turnover.” (from Towers Watson 2012 study)

Keeping employees engaged leads to happier employees and ultimately that translates to happier customers. This is outlined clearly in a post on the Harvard Business Review Blog by Tony Schwartz, entitled "How Employee Engagement Hits the Bottom Line". In this post, Tony Schwartz praises the results of the 2012 Towers Watson study that "makes the most powerful, bottom line case yet for the connection between how we feel at work and how we perform." 

He writes further; "For leaders, the key is to begin thinking of themselves as Chief Energy Officers. Energy is contagious, for better and for worse, and disproportionately so for leaders — by virtue of their influence. "The manager is at the heart of what we might think of as a personal employee ecosystem," the Towers Watson study concludes, "shaping individual experience ... day in and day out.""

Side Note: Interestingly enough, Tony Schwartz also has the record for the most read blog post in 2012 on the HBR site with a post that everyone should read to reset their multitasking behavior and expectations for more depth and productivity. "The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time" by Tony Schwartz

Most of the social engagement rhetoric comes down to directing an organization’s focus on building a customer-centric organization starting from the inside out. Without the employee and customer-centric internal health of the organization, the external or customer-facing engagement is doomed for failure. Here’s an interesting video from the 2012 Oracle OpenWorld Customer Experience Summit Keynote with one of our partners, SapientNitro speaking with customer, Vail Resorts, on the importance of building a customer-centric corporate culture.



There has been a lot written about how to better engage with your customers across all of the new and existing or "legacy" channels of communication. Most companies were used to evaluating how well they were doing in retail or other face to face engagement modes. With the rapid growth of online and social engagement venues, today's successful organizations have been forced to align their channels for message consistency, culture, and context. 

For a deeper dive into this subject, not so long ago, we hosted Ray Wang, Principal Analyst & CEO from Constellation Research as part of our Social Business Thought Leaders Webcast Series where he spoke on the 9 C’s of Customer Engagement - How to Engage Your Customers and Employees.


Tuesday Jan 22, 2013

The Social Enterprise: Looking Back: Top Trends for 2012

The Social Enterprise: Top Trends for Engagement

This week, we’ll be focused on what’s happened over the past year and ideas for the new year with regards to engaging with your customers, partners and employees. Each of these groups are essential to your business or organization’s success and each have their own unique set of requirements that need to be considered as you approach this new year of interaction.

First up: Looking Back: Top Trends of the Top 10 for 2012

At this time of year, we are always inundated with “Top 10” lists for the year we are finishing as well as the year we are entering. I’ve delayed my survey of these to allow everyone to catch their breath from 2012 and also to allow those really smart folks out there to complete their deep thoughts and analysis and give me something to read that isn’t just a regurgitation of last years’ soap-box rant.

And thus, I have entered the vortex over the past few weeks. Enchantment and Engagement become intertwined in many of our online experiences these days. We call it the "vortex" in our home when you sit down to quickly look at something online and realize that 2 hours or more have passed, dinner is still not made, your spouse is unhappy, your children are cranky and the dog thinks you forgot about feeding her. Nonetheless, I have gathered a good survey of interesting trends from the past year across a wide variety of sources. I hope you will enjoy it.

But before we start our survey of trends past and present – I’d like to level set what we mean when we talk about “Social Enterprise” by sharing a great video from our past Java One Developer conference in October 2012 where Roland Smart, VP of Social Marketing at Oracle, maps out the marketing and developers' perspective on "Social" and how the drive of social into the enterprise is expanding massively.


Each of the major analyst firms always publishes a list at the beginning of the year regarding the trends for the upcoming year. They also coincidentally have a selection of reports that nicely feed into their expected trends for the year.

Here’s a list of Gartner’s 2012 Tech Trends and a video below with David Cearley, Gartner VP & Gartner Fellow, discussing the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2012 which seem remarkably similar to their 2013 predictions. There is a lot of carryover into this year as these trends evolve - but trends are not one year phenomenon and they clearly state: “Strategic technologies are those with the potential for significant impact on enterprises during the next three years.” What is also interesting though is their discussion of How Technology Trends Affect the Human, Business and IT Experience in different ways.

Gartner:

Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2012

1. MEDIA TABLETS AND BEYOND

2. MOBILE APPLICATIONS AND INTERFACES

3. CONTEXTUAL AND SOCIAL EXPERIENCE

4. THE INTERNET OF THINGS

5. APP STORES AND MARKETPLACES

7. BIG DATA

8. IN-MEMORY COMPUTING

9. EXTREME LOW-ENERGY SERVERS

10. CLOUD COMPUTING


Watch Andy Mulholland - On-Demand

From far and wide, every Global Consulting and SI firm has a perspective on trends past, present and future. Last year, we hosted Andy Mulholland, Former Capgemini Global Chief Technology Officer in our Social Business Thought Leaders Webcast Series. He presented a very interesting session on "Top 10 Technology Trends Driving Business Innovation" that remain valid today.

His blog post, Ten Game Changing Technology Shifts in 2012 adds some supplemental color to his perspective.

Monday Jan 21, 2013

I Have a Dream

 Note to any foreign readers that were confused by this post. January 21st is celebrated as Martin Luther King Day in the US celebrating the life and achievements of a man who truly changed history and had his life taken due to his thoughts for equality expressed so eloquently in his famous speech below. As a federal holiday, Oracle was closed for the day in the US and this page was a tribute. More info available lots of places - here's a start.


Martin Luther King Jr.

I Have A Dream Speech - August 28, 1963

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

Friday Jan 18, 2013

Online Customer Journey: The Service and Recommendation Experiences

We wrap up our week of focusing on the online customer journey by looking at the final two stages – the service experience and the recommendation experience.

The Service Experience

Once you’ve successfully converted site visitors into paying customers, you’ll want to assure that it’s easy for customers to continue doing business with you and help them get the most out of their investment in your products or services. Oftentimes, in industries like financial services, healthcare, or even government, you’ll want to provide your customers, patients, or constituents with both a public online presence where they can find information and engage with your organization early in the customer journey, and also an online self-service presence that enables your customers to access secure services where they can conduct financial transactions, look up personal health information or take advantage of government services. In cases like this, the combination of Oracle WebCenter Sites and Oracle WebCenter Portal is ideally suited to helping you meet both of these objectives and ultimately deliver an online experience that is unified, consistent and seamless as those visiting your web presence evolve from prospects into active customers.

The whole idea of incorporating a self-service aspect into a company’s online engagement strategy is definitely one that is picking up steam as companies looks at new ways to service their customers efficiently and effectively online. And not only is online self-service a means for driving greater efficiencies, the vast majority of customers – 75% -- prefer to use online support if it’s available and reliable.

The Recommendation Experience

The final phase that you should consider in your online marketing strategy is the recommendation phase, whereby satisfied customers become advocates for your brand and recommend it to others. The opinions that people share about their experiences with a product or brand are a highly valued source of information relied upon by prospective customers as they contemplate a purchasing decision. In fact, 70% of consumers trust the opinions of other online users, making it one of the most trusted types of information that potential buyers consider, second only to the opinions of people they know.1

You can tap into the influence your satisfied customers can have over prospective customers by making it easy for them to share their experiences with their social networks, and to contribute helpful comments, ratings or reviews of your products and services. The ability to share and contribute socially on your web presence should be given component of your web presence. You can encourage social sharing and the contribution of user-generated content by enabling social login on your web presence, whereby customers can login into your site quickly and easily using their familiar social networking profiles. Such capabilities are available to you when you use Oracle WebCenter Sites for web experience management.

This concludes our series of posts on the online customer journey. Remember that developing an effective online experience that supports the customer life cycle is critical to driving sales and earning long term loyalty.

 ******

Are you providing your customers with engaging online experiences using Oracle? If so, you probably realize that there's more to exceptional customer engagement than just web experience management. You must also empower your business by engaging and enabling employees and partners to deliver on customers' expectations. Join us for this Webcast and learn how to meet your engagement goals by doing more with Oracle WebCenter for portals and enterprise content management. View now.

1 Neilsen, “Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages,” 2011

Thursday Jan 17, 2013

Online Customer Journey: The Selection and Purchase Experiences

Today we continue our examination of the online customer experience journey by taking at look at the next two stages – product selection and purchasing.

The Selection Experience

Once you’ve successfully engaged prospective customers with a relevant and interactive experience, and gotten them to consider your organization as a possible solution for their needs, you can continue to guide and influence their selection process by making it easier for them to search for and discover suitable solutions for their needs. Depending on your business model, there are numerous approaches that aid the online selection process including the incorporation of faceted search and guided navigation, segmentation and targeting, or even endorsements from other customers in the form of comments, ratings or reviews on the web presence.

If you’re a business that has a large product catalog, integrating faceted search into the web experience can be an effective way for potential customers to dynamically explore your site and find relevant and desired items more quickly and easily. During the product selection process, site visitors want the ability to navigate based on their own unique preferences and to view content and search results that are most relevant to them. Often, the search experience on a website frustrates potential buyers or provides them with too many irrelevant results to wade through. A solution such as Oracle Endeca Guided Search can be integrated with your WebCenter Sites deployment to optimize the search capabilities on your web presence, so you can deliver more precise, more relevant, and more complete results that help guide and influence product selection, leading to increased conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

Another way in which you can aid the selection process on your web presence is by using the segmentation and targeting tools in Oracle WebCenter Sites to deliver a more relevant and personalized online experience. As potential customers browse through your site, you can use explicit criteria, implicit criteria or a combination of both, to deliver the most relevant information to those customers aiding their selection process. For an organization with a broad set of solutions that are specialized for buyers with distinct needs (financial services or insurance are good examples), segmentation and targeting can be used to narrow the number of solutions being featured to those that are most relevant to a particular visitor, making the experience on your site more efficient and effective.

And finally, don’t overlook the power of peer influence when it comes to the selection process. 75% of consumers put a high degree of trust into the opinions fellow consumers have posted online.1 By incorporating user-generated content (UGC) features into your web presence such as comments, ratings and reviews, you can tap into the extremely persuasive powers of other online consumers to help influence the behavior of your site visitors and make their selection process easier. With Oracle WebCenter Sites, robust tools for UGC deployment, moderation and management are available out-of-the box.

The Purchase Experience

If your business model includes an ecommerce component, speeding and simplifying the purchase process is the next step in the online customer experience journey. A streamlined and efficient online purchase process is vital to preventing shopping cart abandonment. The purchase process can even become another opportunity for engaging customers and influencing them to purchase more or related products; it can also be structured to incentivize customers to take action now through the offer of various promotions.

Websites span the spectrum from marketing-driven to commerce-driven, including a variety that are in between and combine marketing and commerce to varying degrees for different purposes.

Oracle’s ATG Web Commerce is a top ranked commerce solution that enables you to deliver an engaging and efficient online buying experience. When combined with Oracle WebCenter Sites, these solutions bring together best-in-class web experience management and ecommerce capabilities, assuring that your site visitors have a personalized, interactive, and multichannel experience as make their way through the customer journey, researching, selecting, and making purchases.

Please visit the WebCenter blog tomorrow as we wrap up our journey through the online customer experience. To learn more about how Oracle empowers people and powers brands to deliver engaging experiences that drive business results, also check out our Executive Strategy Brief on Customer Experience.

1 Neilsen, “Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages,” 2011

Wednesday Jan 16, 2013

The Online Customer Journey: The Research Experience

Yesterday, we began taking a look at the online customer journey and the primary stages of it that should be carefully considered as you develop your online strategy. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the first stage in which potential customers begin to research solutions to fulfill a need or solve a problem, and what that means in terms of how you should approach your online presence.

While social networking sites have become frequent online destinations for people today, company sponsored brand websites still play a central and critical role in the online customer journey. In fact, brand websites remain a preferred source for information gathering during the purchase process, second only to search engines in popularity.1 Not only is the brand website a preferred source for information, it is also a highly trusted one. Nearly 60% of online consumers trust the information they find on company websites, a percentage that far exceeds that of all other forms of paid advertising.2


Since the brand website is such a highly preferred and trusted destination during the customer journey, you’ll want to assure that it delivers a truly engaging experience as your site visitors research your products and services. At this stage in the customer lifecycle, you want to focus on informing, educating, and developing interactive relationships with prospective customers so that they’ll seriously consider your brand as a solution that addresses their needs.

Part of this engagement equation will depend on your content strategy, in other words, you’ll need to assure that you have the right mix of thought leadership, product/service information, videos, testimonials or other marketing content to address the needs of prospective customers at this stage of their journey. The other part of the engagement equation involves web experience management (WEM) technology, and how you leverage it to drive relevancy and promote interaction across online channels using the content you’ve developed. From my perspective, there are three key ways in which WEM can help your business facilitate the research phase of the customer journey and deliver content in more meaningful ways to promote engagement with your brand:

Relevant and Personalized Online Experiences

Today, it’s no longer acceptable to deliver a one-size-fits-all online customer experience. Instead, you must demonstrate that you know your customers by providing them with a relevant and personalized online experience that takes their preferences, behavior and past history with your brand into account. More relevant online experiences can lead to greater site stickiness, more repeat visits and higher conversion rates. They can help prospective customers more easily find and understand how your products and solutions can help them meet their particular objectives. A WEM solution can provide you with easy to use segmentation and targeting capabilities that will empower you to deliver a more personalized online experience using your marketing content.



Social and Interactive Online Experiences

Customers expect their online experience with your brand to be as social and interactive as their experiences on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. To fulfill these expectations, you must provide your customers with plenty of opportunities to interact socially with your brand. This means incorporating user-generated content capabilities such as ratings, reviews, or comments into your web presence and integrating with social networks to facilitate participation on your site using social login and to promote social sharing of information from your site. To achieve this, make sure that you use a WEM solution that allows you to easily incorporate social computing features into your online experience drive engagement and foster community, while also providing robust moderation and management capabilities so you can assure that all user-generated content benefits both your community and your business.

Optimized Experiences for Mobile

The online experience is an increasingly mobile experience due to the ubiquity of phones and tablets. To meet the needs of mobile customers, you must optimize your web presence for anytime, anywhere delivery to the thousands of different mobile device types that are available. Your WEM solution should help simplify mobile delivery by enabling you to centrally manage both your traditional site and mobile site using the same content, navigation and authoring interface.

Today’s customers expect an experience is both relevant and interactive across web, mobile and social channels. By focusing on creating experiences that demonstrate how well you know your customers, that promote social interactivity, and that allow for anytime, anywhere access across web, mobile and social channels, you’ll engage prospective customers during the early phases of the customer life cycle, thereby unlocking the door to greater sales and loyalty for your business.

****************************************************************************


You can learn more about Oracle’s web experience management solution, Oracle WebCenter Sites, by downloading this free white paper, “Creating a Successful and Meaningful Customer Experience on the Web.” Return to the Oracle WebCenter blog later this week as we look at other stages in the online customer journey.

1 Fleishman-Hillard, "2012 Digital Influence Index: Understanding the Role of Internet in the Lives of Consumers" conducted by Harris Interactive,, Jan 31, 2012

2 Neilsen, “Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages,” 2011

Tuesday Jan 15, 2013

Does Your Online Experience Support the Customer Journey?

We live in an always connected world. Every minute of every day, two million search queries are made on Google, nearly 700,000 pieces of content are shared on Facebook, 571 new websites are created, and consumers spend $272,000 shopping online.1 We shop, we play and we connect online, and so do your customers. There is no doubt that the online channel is often your customers’ preferred channel for conducting and managing their personal and professional business. But does the online experience that you deliver really turn casual site visitors into long-term paying customers and advocates for your brand?

If you’re part of an organization looking to compete in an increasingly web, mobile and social world, you must take care to develop and execute an online customer experience strategy that supports the entire customer journey. Your goal should be to provide an engaging, consistent and connected experience, whether you are dealing with a prospective customer who is visiting your public website for the first time, or a long time customer who has logged on to your self-service portal to look up account information or conduct a transaction.

While there are many different stages of the customer journey, there are five primary phases you’ll want to consider carefully as you develop your online customer experience strategy:

Online Customer Experience Journey

1) Research

As potential customers begin to research solutions to the problems they are trying to solve, the focus of your online customer experience should be on engagement. The days when prospects could be won over by a static, one-size-fits-all web experience are long gone. Instead, you need to focus on providing prospects with personalized and interactive online experiences that are easily accessible and optimized for PC’s, tablets and mobile phones. By combining a well thought out content strategy with a dynamic web presence, you can begin to earn the trust of prospective customers and get them to seriously consider your brand.

2) Select

Once you’ve successfully engaged prospective customers with a relevant and interactive experience, and gotten them to consider your organization as a possible solution for their needs, you can continue to guide and influence their selection process by making it easier for them to search for and discover suitable solutions for their needs. Depending on your business model, there are numerous approaches that aid the online selection process including the incorporation of faceted search and guided navigation, segmentation and targeting, or even endorsements from other customers in the form of comments, ratings or reviews on the web presence.

3) Purchase

If your business model includes an eCommerce component, speeding and simplifying the purchase process is the next step in the online customer experience journey. A streamlined and efficient online purchase process is vital to preventing shopping cart abandonment. The purchase process can even become another opportunity for engaging customers and influencing them to purchase more or related products; it can also be structured to incent customers to take action now through various promotions or offers.

4) Service

Once you’ve successfully converted site visitors into paying customers, you’ll want to assure that it is easy for customers to do business with you and to help them get the most out of their investment in your products or services. For certain industries, such as financial services, your online presence may even be the primary channel in which customers conduct business with you. In any case, an effective customer self-service portal can not only drive down service costs, but it can actually improve customer satisfaction at all phases of the ownership experience, from product delivery to use and maintenance.

5) Recommend

The final phase that you should consider in your online marketing strategy is the recommendation phase, whereby satisfied customers become advocates for your brand and recommend it to others. By giving your customers opportunities to share their experiences with their social networks, and by enabling them to endorse your products and services in the form of comments, ratings, and reviews on your web presence, you help extend the reach of your brand and leverage your customers’ influence over their peers – truly one of your most powerful assets in your marketing toolkit.

Developing an effective online experience that supports the customer journey is critical to driving sales and earning long term loyalty. Customers’ needs change as they move between the research, selection, purchase, service and recommendation phases of the lifecycle, often necessitating a number of different technologies to deliver on customers’ expectations at each stage. From a technology perspective, this often means integrating web experience management, faceted search, eCommerce, or portal technologies that help support the online customer experience and unify it across all online touch points seamlessly. Be sure to check back on the WebCenter blog this week as we take a closer look at customers' expectations and needs at each of the fives phases of their online journey and the CX technologies that can enable your businesses to deliver on them.

*****

Webcast: Connect the Online Customer Experience with Oracle WebCenter

If you’d like to learn more about how to connect the online customer experience with Oracle WebCenter, please register for our webcast on Thursday, January 17 at 10a.m. PT / 1p.m. ET. You will learn how Oracle WebCenter:

  • Enables contextually relevant and interactive experiences across web, mobile and social channels
  • Works with Oracle ATG Commerce and Oracle Endeca to deliver consistent and engaging browsing, shopping and search experiences across all of your customer facing websites
  • Enables you to optimize the performance of your online initiatives through integration with Oracle Real-Time Decisions for automated targeting and segmentation

Register for the webcast today.

1 AllTwitter, Twitter, Facebook, Google, YouTube -- What Happens On the Internet Every 60 Seconds

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Oracle WebCenter is the center of engagement for business—powering exceptional experiences for customers, partners, and employees. It connects people, process, and information with the most complete portfolio of portal, Web experience management, content, imaging and collaboration technologies.

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